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Episode 3: Engagement Ring Styles and Diamond Shapes

What's Best for Her?

Welcome to the Ring Master Podcast. In this episode, we will be discussing different engagement ring styles and different diamond shapes, so the perfect style can be chosen for her. We discuss ways to get this information, as well as how to properly convey it to the jewelry store, to make sure you have the perfect selection.

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Episode Transcript


Welcome to the RingMaster Podcast, Chicago's most trusted source to educate, guide and give you tips and advice for choosing and purchasing the right diamonds, custom engagement rings, and wedding bands. Here is our expert design chief, Koorosh Danshgar, and our diamond experts Mory Tafreshi and Terry Hanley. This podcast is brought to you by Chicago’s very own Wedding Bands & Company where we believe marriage is too important for ordinary jewelry.


Here we are with another episode of Ring Master with Terry Hanley and Mory Tafreshi. We love to bring some value to our listener and give insight while you’re shopping for an engagement ring and picking a diamond for your loved one and starting this new journey in your life. Today we are going to talk about what kind of ring will suit her and what style you’ll pick. In previous episodes we have talked about things that are before this stage, but if you’re just tuning in, welcome! First we start with the shape of the diamond. As a designer, I have to say that in  any shape, if you have the right setting, its going to be nice and beautiful on the hand of your person. The diamond is presented in the setting. It is important that there is a harmony between the setting you choose and the diamond so they work perfectly together. At the same time, you have to see what you’re going to pick overall as a ring for her hand

Terry: that overall piece

Koorosh: Yes! I want to say for the diamond shape - and also referring to Terry and Mory about this- but in my 30 years experience the diamond shape is a personal preference. It is something you guys can talk about before, and something you can spy on what kind of shapes she gets.


Terry: And admires in her friends and her rings

Koorosh: I want to say, always round diamonds are a classic and best choice. A classic choice will create the most sparkle and you can do many things with it.

Terry: Absolutely timeless. Most of your fancy shapes: Princess cuts, Cushion cuts, Pear shape, Ovals, they all tend to move in trends. Whereas the round brilliant cut absolutely is constant in demand and supply, pricing is always going to be very leveled on the too. Round Brilliant is also the most efficient to cut to its ideal proportions in give you the maximum brilliancy, Meaning that on the fancy shapes if they are cut perfectly to accomplish maximum brilliancy, the stone is going to look smaller than the stone is in actual weight because it is going to require a lot more depth. So Round Brilliance is always my number one suggestion, number one selection. Again, it can play (depending on the size) into any hand shape and size just because of the symmetry of the round diamond.

Mory: Yeah, I pretty much tell my clients go with whatever shape and style that she or your partner likes because if they don't like the marquise shape and you end up buying a 3 carat marquise shape, she isn't going to like it. Period. If she likes a couple other shapes, and as long as you and she like the design of the ring, she is going to go with it no matter if it's a round or cushion diamond because she’s going to wear it for the rest of her life. I always recommend listening to your partner! If you have no clue, get the help of their friends, go online, check out their Pinterest and see what she has liked and click on- give us those ideas and we can use it as a base of the design. We’ll provide modifications based on the center stone. 


Koorosh: I always recall one story when we are talking about shapes. Shapes represent feelings of people. I have a client who is a very well known violinist, and she really loves marquise shaped stones. I asked her why she picked the marquise and she responded, “I had a teacher who taught me when I was young who had a very successful marriage and she had a marquise diamond ring. As a kid I would always look at that ring and wanted it for myself to remember the days I went there and saw her husband come in and kiss her”. That’s exactly what we are looking for! 


Terry: And that type of relationship! Represents that type of relationship we are looking for. That's cool, what a great story.

Koorosh: Yes! So it’s so important to ask your girlfriend what shapes she likes. So often people come in and say “I’m here to try all the shapes and want to see which ones I’m going to like more”. So one of the things we provide her in our company is education- No pressure on a sale! We just sit with you and go through everything. One of the things I always do is give my professional opinion. As Terry mentioned, Round Brilliant cuts are sparkly and are great choices, but obviously we need to see the collection unconsciously between the round diamond and what she thinks. For example, a lot of people despise princess cuts just based on the way they feel! Let's talk about the shapes that are absolutely not popular…


Terry: HEART!! 


Koorosh: Yes! Or Triangle! 


Terry: Nothing wrong with heart shapes, they’re great in necklaces! In a ring they’re always hard to design and work around. 


Korosh: Triangles. Mory have you ever sold any triangles? 


Mory: One a very very long time ago, 7-8 years ago, a three stone ring that came out nice with its side stones. 


Koorosh: If we were going to list the shape of diamonds in order of popularity, as of today in 2020 and we hope this stays for a while and we will continue to update, but as of now…


Terry: As I mentioned, round brilliant is always consistent and constant as number #1 even in today's market. The others move in trends. We are coming out of a cushion cut trend and moving into ovals being hot, but also pear shapes and marquise starting brew here! In terms what the demands will be in the market in the next months or years to come will be interesting to see. Right now I will say its ovals.  


Koorosh: Sometimes you’re looking to create a special look on the whole ring so you’ll need a specific diamond. For example, if someone wants to make an Eduardian, a very old fashioned, antique  design, my recommendation is to pick a cushion cut. Cushion cuts look like a minor old cut, and if you bring that to the design you bring harmony to the design. We want to talk about the setting and what setting goes best with their hand. 


Terry: I think it's extremely important how the ring plays on her hand, but it is also important how it plays with her personality. Every woman will want to wear something that is very comfortable for her. I think not only looking at it with the perspective of her hand shape and fingers, but with the perspective of her personality. 


Mory: Yes. For me, I always tell my clients to forget about the market and what is popular and not popular. I always say to listen to your partner to see what they like because I’ve noticed in the last few years that my clients who went with pear shaped , cushion, and oval diamonds went with the bigger sized diamonds (1.5-3 carats). The ones who purchased the round diamonds were usually 1 to 1.5 or 1.8, not necessarily sure why. But as far as I am concerned, as a jeweler, when you go with a fancy shape it's going to be a deeper diamond so you’re going to need a bigger stone to make it look bigger, as big as round. At the same time, as Terry said, I closely listen to the client to see what the design they tell me to do because that is going to show their personality. Just by describing the type of the design of the ring I can kind of figure out what kind of background they have or what they like. 


Koorosh: I would say another way you can technically use the opinion of the designer you are working with is to bring a picture of your partner's hands. Or looking at her hands, if she has a long finger you might want to design something a little wider. If you make a 2mm band and she has very beautiful long fingers, that ring will get lost, so you want to give the ring a little bit of width, You might want to do a split shank, or a wider design and you can design this with her and have her try it. If someone has short fingers, and you put something wider on top of a wedding band, its going to be uncomfortable. You have to consider which way you go and get the opinion of the jeweler you work with and the designer you work with if you’re doing this all by yourself. I think what I want to say is if she has regular hands, not too big or delicate, just average or mid-sized then you can go with a 2-3 mm band. I recommend our listeners to go to our blog, we wrote a blog about ring styles that has pictures. 


Last thing I want to say, and am going to confirm with you guys, last year in 2019 we did so many rings with Noura designs. Again I ask our listeners to check out that Noura design on our website. 


Terry: Noura right? Just if you’re searching for it right?


Koorosh: Yes!


Terry: Wonderfully classic look. Again that Noura design is just, or almost that traditional solitaire just with additional diamonds running down the shank portion of it on each side of the center diamond. It's a wonderfully classic simple timeless look that will forever be a beautiful piece on her. You can’t go wrong with it.

Mory: As Koorosh was saying here, we are giving you examples to act as guidelines to help you find the right design. But there are no rules, or laws you have to follow based on that. It goes back again to what she likes, and you know the person I mention their finger size was 3.5 and she chose a 3.5 carat cushion. And the ring is like, way huge,  It’s a 7.5mm with two 1-carat side diamonds. It's a really really big ring and that’s how she likes it. She loves it. And if I look at it, I won’t say I dislike it, but I would not buy that for my life. That's what she likes! And that is what she is going to wear. 


Terry: Another thing to add to Koorosh mentioning the more elongated fingers and the more slender hands going with a wider band  and things like that… if that’s the direction you’re going that’s where the elongated stones can come into play beautifully. Especially if you’re trying to be more budget conscious and going with something a little bit smaller in size because you have that length so that plays easily and beautifully with the design aspects of the piece. 


Koorosh: So technically we can size any ring as we explained, a ring can go up or down. But we don’t want to be off, if you’re sizing a ring 2-3 sizes it will damage your ring. The ring has to be total round, so if you make the ring 3 sizes smaller, the diamond on the shoulder can become loose and come out. Again, going back if someone has a family  heirloom with a beautiful diamond you want to use and the size is 10 or 8 and she's size 4, that’s not going to work. One other thing, if you’re going to give the diamond ring to her, you propose and you are a little bit off - maybe half a size and you want to come back to size it. Of course you can. I recommend you buy one of those...Terry what are those called those ropes you can put inside the ring?...Adjusters?


Terry: Oh! Yes adjusters!  That was something I was going to bring up in regards to knuckles, a lot of women have a little bit of a larger knuckles and smaller fingers. So no matter what you do, you’ll have a lot of movement on that ring once it gets on the finger. So what Koorosh is speaking of right now is a good remedy for that. It's a small adjuster or sizer or piece that can  fit into the back. It can either be metal or they’re making a cool little one now made of silicon, which seems to  work well. Those are always a good temporary cure until you get ring sized if when you present the ring it is way too big. It's a great cure if the knuckles are an issue  and the ring moves around. But there are other options there! I don't think we should dive into all of those at this moment; there are a lot of other options to deal with the issue in itself.

Koorosh: When sizing a ring, we can summarize you should have some sort of idea. You can ask her to give you an idea, you guys can go shopping…


Terry: Or secretly snag one of her rings and noticing which one she wears it on. Hopefully It'll be on the ring finger, more likely on the right hand, being the left hand is for your wedding ring. Keep in mind there’s typically a size difference between hands, your dominant hand typically runs a size larger. If you can luck into that and get a ring that fits on that finger, we can take that and make the adjustment. 


Koorosh: One thing I wanna say I am proud of is I have had two cases where I have found the perfect size for my client with a picture of his partner's hands. I asked him to bring in a picture of his partner's hands holding a subject, could be a soda can or beer bottle- if you give that to  a professional designer they can figure it out. I remember in both cases the size was so perfect, I was surprised myself


Terry: That’s pretty amazing 


Koorosh: I spent time! They sent me that picture and it went great. We’ll have to post the article about it on our website, I just thought about it!

Mory: Most likely, from my experiences, 8 out of 10 guys are wrong when it comes to the ring size. Another great suggestion is to ask your sister or her friends. Ladies are extremely particular about ring sizes, so if they don’t know her exact size but they know how her hand looks compared to theirs, they can compare it. The man can ask the friend and the friend can say “My size is 4, so Jennifer, for example, if going to 7.75 because it's slightly bigger than mine”.


Terry: And among sisters and best friends, let's face it they’re going to try each others rings on


Mory: That’s the best possible way instead of trying on different things 


Koorosh: I wish we can bring a woman as a guest onto these podcast and ask these questions 


Mory: One  of our clients! They’ve been through the whole thing so they know exactly what it was 


Terry: Always keep in mind, this is about romance, about surprise, about romance, romance, romance! Don’t blow the surprise, if you have the secrecy going at this point don’t blow that surprise for the ring size. We can deal with that, so protect that.

Koorosh: If you have a jeweler and designer that have enough experience, I always say to clients that in the past 20 years we have served more than 10,000 customers. We know everything, we have to give you the right advice and take you down the right steps. That's why you come here with the information you and then we will give you direction. I remember in the past, somebody brought a piece of paper that was a beer coaster with finger sizing with holes she can put her fingers through. They sell these now! You can tip your waiter and ask them to put it under her drink, so when it comes out and she asks what it is, you can say “I don’t know!”. She can try it on and exclaim her size, “Oh I’m size 6!”. So this is a fun way to find out! Another way is when she is asleep, there are ring sizes that are plastic and we offer them for free. You can check once she is asleep just to make sure she doesn’t wake up, maybe after a heavy drink or something! 


Mory: Yeah I usually say after a few shots of tequila and having a good time…


Terry: Now, Now, Now


Mory: No on the night you’re already having a good time, not purposefully! But you’re having fun then take the ring size! 


Koorosh: So friends and family are always great resources to ask. Do not worry about doing damage to sizing a ring, a ring can be resized. However there is one exception when doing an eternity band. When she asks for an eternity band

Terry: When you get into the wedding bands..well..

Koorosh: I've had a couple designs where she wanted diamonds all the way around. Particular for that person who asks for an eternity band or diamonds all around, be sure you have her size!

Terry: Yes do be sure to have her size!

Koorosh: Eternity style is more complicated. Again, it is not the end of the world, we can size it but there are some limitations. Sizing is a challenge and risk, like anything in life, and we have to take a risk. Yesterday I was listening to Jim Rowen, I always love listening to this guy, and he was saying “Well life is full of risks, if you don’t take any risks you stay home! You don’t come out! There will always be a risk of getting hit by a car, should you stay home? No.”  Another thing he talked about if you want a life with no risks, a place where food is given 3 times a day without bothering you and give you clothing where you don’t have to do anything

Terry: ...It's called the state penitentiary…


Koorosh: Yes exactly! Does that life have meaning? So this all comes back to a story I have where right after we had the podcast of asking permission from the parents, and I brought this up and he asked “Can I return the ring?”. I told him if he’s looking to return a ring, he can buy it from a big corporation with already made rings and they give you 30 days. A totally different route. You can go to a website and return it, this isn't good or bad. But if you’re looking to create a stunning ring, something customized and beautiful that someone takes you through, there is no return from most of the jewlers that are artists. You’re creating something that is yours. I told him, you have to take a chance! He asked, “But what if she doesn’t like it or she says no”, I said, “What are you going to do? You’re going to continue to get the yes! If it’s the person you want. And if you think it’s not going to work, you can move on to the next person. That’s how we learn to walk, we fall, we wake up, and we continue to learn walking. We don't fall and  say “Oh no I fell, I’m not going to walk anymore”. That’s how everything is in life.

Terry: And again, sizing in itself is not the end of the world. What’s most important is that she can put it on her finger when you present it to her” 


Koorosh: Terry you mentioned earlier the issue about rings with a hand with a bigger knuckle, I think this is something we can suggest, what is the remedy for it?

Terry: First off it’s sizing over as tightly as possible over that knuckle as possible to get as minimal movement once you got it on. Although, that is always a long shot, we use either beads or a bridge. The beads look like little BBs out of a BB gun, and we solder two of them on the interior of the shank. This gives you the room to maneuver those over the larger knuckle and gives you a bit of grip once you have it on.

Koorosh: Which we call stabilizers!

Terry: Stabilizers! Yes! Stabilizers that is what we call them. There is also a bridge version that is sort of an arch that we will install inside the shank area in Gold or Platinum, we can make either of those in the same metal the ring is in, and they are permanent. They can be removed  if ever need be by a workshop, but they are permanent. We can do that arch or the size of those beads depending on the variance between the knuckle and ring finger. They are a good remedy. There is a special kind that I kind of recommend to my more elderly clients who their uncles become a bigger issue. A finger made shank style anniversary case, which is a hinge style where we replace half of the shank and it literally opens and closes. Its very cool, you can open it up, snap it on and snap it close to give you a tight fit. I had a client years ago, from a very prominent Chicago family who had an incredible collection of art deco pieces that were long term family pieces. As she aged and got into her 80s and 90s, she really began to shrink and become smaller, and it broke her heart that she wasn’t able to wear any of these rings because of the size of her knuckle versus her finger. We threw a whole series of finger fit shanks and she loved them, going on and on for years about how terrific they were.


Koorosh: Mory, you recently had a project didn’t you?

Mory: Yes after her 15h anniversary she sent her ring back to us, and she was in California, telling us she really loved the ring but she wants to wear it everyday so we have to do the hinge. We took the half the shank and made the hinge, and she’s extremely happy with it.

Terry: They are not inexpensive, they are a bit costly. They also do require a little bit of maintenance throughout the course of time, but the one primary supplier that we use for that offer warranty  and service, all that kind of good stuff. It does require a bit of maintenance, but again this is a great remedy again as women tend to age and lose some of that size. But that is a long way off! Don't worry too much about that at this point


Koorosh: But for anniversary pieces we can absolutely do this! These mechanisms which are added to rings, have to be measured with different tools. It is not something you can just do, your partner needs to come in and we use special tools to measure her finger on the knuckle and after the knuckle. Let’s say the knuckle will be size 8 and after the knuckle will be 6.5, we calculate this and make a mechanism that when open is 8 and when closed the shank will come down to size 6.5. It's beautiful, you don’t see anything and we’ve done this plenty of times. We offer here repair and professional  maintenance and this is something if you’d like to do with your older pieces, we’d love to help you with that. Also, if you’re doing an anniversary ring, I’m sure there is a lot of back and forth and this will be something you are doing together. If I see the situation, I will bring it up and we will show it to you!
Alright thank you so much for listening

Mory, Terry: Thank You!


Terry: We Really appreciate it

Koorosh: Please check out our website, throw us an email at, if you have any questions or comments. Thank you again so much and have a pleasant day 


Terry: Take care!




Mory: Take care!

This Podcast was brought to you by Wedding Bands & Company, where we believe marriage is too important for ordinary jewelry.